As so often happens to me, someone else writes something that inspires me to write something. Yesterday, Mr. Wicked over at My Past Time....I Love It wrote of yet another successful TTM request, this time from Dean Palmer.
Dean Palmer was a contributor to many of the Texas Rangers all-power, no pitching teams of the 1990s. I saw Dean play a number of times in '94 and '95, but my two most distinct memories of him revolve around something that happened on June 3, 1995.
I was listening to the game on the radio that day. The Minnesota Twins were in Arlington and Kevin Tapani was on the mound. Dean came up in the bottom of the second inning and was down 0-2 when Tapani threw a pitch that would end his season. Dean swung as hard as he could and missed, rupturing his biceps tendon. He had surgery the next week. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain someone would experience with an injury like that. I didn't see a replay, but some people who saw it said it looked like his muscle pulled up into his upper arm. Ouch!
That incident led to a chance meeting with Dean Palmer one afternoon. It was early September and I stopped by the dry cleaners in Arlington. I was almost to the door when I look up and see none other than Dean Palmer headed the same direction. I'm not normally the type to approach someone like that, but how often do you run into a player from your favorite team out in public? I said hello (original huh?) and introduced myself as a big Rangers fan. I told him I hoped he made a healthy return the next season (he did, 38 homers and 107 rbis). He said he was on his way back from rehabbing the injury and felt good. We talked for maybe 3 or 4 minutes about the injury, the state of the team and other things I've forgotten over the years.
I always liked Dean when he was with the Rangers and was sorry to see him have so many seasons cut short due to injury. He played 14 seasons in the Majors, but had 9 seasons where he appeared in less than 1oo games. In 1357 games, he managed 734 runs, 1229 hits, 275 homeruns, 849 rbis and a .251 average to go along with 1332 strikouts. Dean attempted a comeback with the Tigers in 1995, but didn't make the team and retired for good.
According to the Tallahassee Community College website, Dean is the hitting instructor for the TCC Eagles Baseball team. Best of luck to you Dean.